Data centers are subject to a range of environmental factors that are out of the control of the CIO – but they can have devastating effects on the infrastructure as well as on the business they support.

When we think about keeping the lights on in the IT environment, an unreliable power supply is usually top of mind, and any IT organisation worth its salt has provided for this eventuality with UPS (uninterruptible power supply) protection.

“Although it’s almost always on the shopping list, backup power is one area where people typically underinvest,” cautions Alistair Leukis, Gamatronic product manager at Axiz Advanced Technologies. “Unfortunately, they generally only realise this when load shedding kicks in – when it’s too late.”

But power supply isn’t the only external threat facing data centres. Excessive heat or cold, poor air circulation, the presence of smoke, water leakages – any of these can adversely affect the IT environments before anyone is even aware that they exist.

The trend towards smaller data centers, often in remote locations and frequently housed in converted containers, has exacerbated the problem, because they may not have full-time staff members in the vicinity at all.

“This is why it’s important to have management and monitoring of the physical environment,” Leukis says.

Gamatronic is a company that includes environmental monitoring in their product offering, he adds, giving IT organisations visibility and control over conditions in the solutions they provide.

“The products give managers control and management solutions, while continually monitoring for heat, humidity, smoke and more. The solutions are particularly good for containerised solutions.”

The Gamatronic line-up covers the complete IT environment, from the household desktop to the server room. It offers 24/7 monitoring and management that can be done on-premise or from a remote location.

As organisations start to move workloads into the cloud, the always-on data center is becoming more important than ever, Leukis says.

“We are seeing a shift away from companies setting up their own big or small data environments. There is a realisation that they don’t need to spend more on their infrastructure when they can do things in the Cloud.

“But this adds to the need for continuity: it’s more important than ever for the CIO to be notified when things go wrong in either his on-premise environment or in the Cloud.”

Gamatronic has a tradition of innovation and customisation, Leukis says. “We design UPS systems that are modular and 100% scalable in various environments.

“We believe that every customer has a unique requirement for power and we have the solutions and knowledge to back them up. “

Gamatronic supplies units for a wide range of vertical markets, including Industrial, Mining, IT, Marine, Military, Medical and Hospitality environments.

“With partners globally, we have customers who can comfortably concentrate on their business and not worry about downtime through power supply interruptions,” Leukis says.

Gamatronic has been active in South Africa for about four years, and has been distributed by Axiz Advanced Technologies for the last two years.

“At Advanced Technologies, we offer more than just the product,” Leukis says. “We give our partners sales and technical training as well as both pre-sales and post-sales services.

“We can set up working environments in our demo center for both partners and their customers to experience the technology.”

This can be extended to doing proof of concept (PoC) projects for customers. “Our technical staff can help partners to come up with the right solutions. We can do a systems analysis onsite and determine what needs to be done.

“We can do a feasibility study on projects for the customer and can assist the reseller in integrating our solution with the existing environment.”

The rapidly-changing IT market means that resellers have to quickly learn and adapt to new technologies and trends – and Advanced Technologies is committed to helping wherever possible.

“When a customer invests in Infrastructure it is a huge capital layout. It’s important that we help our partners, to help their customers to install the right equipment now, with a plan for future growth.

“Products that are modular and scalable are key so new resources can be added easily. This is one of the reasons that Advanced Technologies chose to partner with Gamatronic – because we can propose a solution that works now but has the room to grow as needed without a substantial investment again to upgrade.”

The trend to Cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) adds to uncertainty about what the data center will look like in future and reinforces the importance of scalabilty, Leukis says.